Southeast Iowa teacher named Iowa's Alternative Education Educator of the Year

Visions Alternative School teacher Heidi Kildow helps a student with an assignment

A Cardinal Community Schools District teacher recently received a big award and once you meet her, you immediately know why she was chosen.

Meet Heidi Kildow, an alternative education teacher at Cardinalâ??s Visions Alternative School. She has a smile that is contagious and a heart that keeps on giving.

She was awarded Iowaâ??s Alternative Education Educator of the Year in Des Moines last Thursday.

For the past five years, she has been changing the lives of students that need some extra help and motivation in the classroom.

â??Well I didn't really know what to think. I was scared but it was awesome and Iâ??m very thankful for everyone who wrote in for me and I just love my job. I'm no one special really,â?? said Kildow.

Kildow sees anywhere from 20 to 30 students a year come through Visions Alternative School. Some of those students may be pregnant and others may have had trouble succeeding in regular high school classes.

And some of those very students are the ones that wrote in to nominate Kildow.

â??Heidi's pretty awesome. She's done a lot for me in school. As well as up in the high school a lot -- I couldn't do that much work at all. When I came down here, Iâ??ve done a lot of work,â?? said Caleb Ennen, Visions Alternative School student.

â??I'm very proud. It's awesome for me to be the daughter of the teacher of the year so it's a good thing,â?? said Mattie Kildow, daughter.

Kildow said she gets a lot of past students that come back to visit her. And she said it is the students that make her want to come to work everyday.